Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.
Man is a responsible agent, held to a moral standard.
Sin originates within a person, separating us from God.
God declares one righteous by faith alone, apart from works.
The Biblical Doctrine of Election- Election has become a battleground for many Christians, sparking carnal attitudes and hostile responses at every point of disagreement. We must remember two things: 1. the Bible gives us our theology, 2. We are to operate in love.
Abram leaves his hometown for a land that he did not know. This is the first mention of the concept of election. Genesis 12:1-3 shows the Land, Seed, & Blessing promises. While the words “elect,” “election,” or “chosen” are not used here, the concept is present.
Nehemiah 9:7 states that “YHWH ‘bâchar’ Abram.” This word means “choose.”
Q: What was Abram chosen to?
The Law of First Mentions: “The first time a doctrine is mentioned typically defines a core element of that concept that is not lost as the progressive revelation in the Bible unfolds. The doctrine grows and develops, but the core concept remains the same.” Genesis 12:1-3 gives the first mention of the concept of “election,” with Nehemiah 9:7 verifying the Genesis passage as pertaining to “election.”
Traditionally, “election” has been taught as God’s choice of certain individuals for either Heaven or Hell based on nothing involving the individual (good or bad that they might do). It is God’s choice and He does as He sees fit. God’s choice was made before the individuals were born. It does not matter how many times someone hears the Gospel; If they are not “elect,” they will never believe because God has made it impossible for them to believe. It has been concluded
that being spiritually “dead” is the same as being physically dead. God must “make them alive” (meaning “regenerate them”) and then give them faith as a “gift” so that they CAN believe. Ultimately, God controls who is saved and who is damned.
Numbers 16:1-7. In v.2, “chosen” is quari meaning “called, summoned” while “chosen” in v. 5 and “choose” in v. 7 are yibhar which is derived from bâchar (Neh 9:7) meaning “choose.” Reading to the end of the chapter, Moses and Aaron were chosen by YHWH over Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. This is not about eternal salvation.
Deuteronomy 18:1-5 speaks of the choosing of the tribe of Levi.
Q: What was the tribe of Levi chosen to?
1 Samuel 10:24. Saul is the one “whom the Lord has chosen.” The same word (bâchar) is used.
Q: What was Saul chosen to?
In 2 Samuel 6:1, David assembles 30,000 “chosen” men. This is the same word (bâchar) but the idea doesn’t seem to be merely “chosen,” but “choice” men, meaning “preferable” which is a possible definition of this word. Even if the meaning is “those who have been chosen,” the idea is still the same.
2 Samuel 6:21. David is clear that the Lord “chose” him over Saul. Again, the same word is used.
Q: What was David chosen to?
The word bâchar first occurs in Genesis 6:2 where the sons of God took of the daughters of men, “whomever they chose.”
Q: What were the daughters of men chosen to?
Isaiah 42:1-4. A “Servant” is identified as the “Chosen One.” We can conclude that this is Messiah.
Q: What is Messiah chosen to?
We can see that Abram, the Levites, Saul, David, David’s men, the daughters of men, and the Messiah were all chosen to a task, vocation, calling, or mission to fulfill. They were not chosen to go to Heaven or Hell when they died.